In Chicago, January means extreme cold with icy winds and snow. Winter weather in Illinois makes workers in all industries more susceptible to be victims of occupational injuries. A weather-related work injury is not limited to those who work outdoors, and it can even occur indoors.
The wetness from ice and snow can be carried into industrial facilities by foot traffic or mobile equipment such as forklifts. Slip-and-fall accidents can cause serious injuries, and it is crucial to keep entrance ways, stairs and walkways dry. Employees whose jobs include driving are more vulnerable in the winter, and road accidents often lead to occupational injuries.
Industrial workers who are exposed to extreme cold conditions could suffer frostbite or hypothermia. These are both conditions to avoid by limiting such exposure because victims can suffer long-term health problems. Winter-related illnesses typically keep many employees from reporting for work. This usually requires allocating jobs to others who might not have the necessary training or experience do those tasks — often resulting in preventable workplace accidents.
Any victim of a work injury in Illinois might be concerned about mounting medical bills and wage losses while he or she is in a hospital or recovering at home. Fortunately, the state-regulated workers’ compensation insurance program has their backs. As soon as the injury is reported to an employer, the wheels of the benefits claims process can start rolling. This could be a daunting task to navigate from a hospital bed, but an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can provide valuable support and guidance throughout the ensuing administrative and legal proceedings.